Spend two weeks exploring northern Italy at your own speed with this self-drive itinerary that allows you to choose the stops. You'll start off in the northern lakes, with Lake Como and Lake Garda offering boat tours past villas and amusement parks alike. Then make your way into Tuscany, where you'll ride a horse-drawn wagon through the countryside and explore the medieval walled city of Siena and famous art of Florence. Finish your trip in the Italian Riviera and colorful five villages of Cinque Terre.
The tour starts with a scenic boat cruise around the peninsula, followed by a moderate walk to the medieval Scaligero Castle, built at the end of the 13th century by the Lords of Verona. At the impressive gateway to the old town of Sirmione, you'll pass under a little stone bridge and walk to the castle's square, Piazza Castello, next to Saint Anna Church. Visit the Church of Saint Maria Maggiore and admire its columned entrance, a Roman military stone originally manufactured to be part of the Gallica Road 2,000 years ago. Inside the church, you’ll view the Last Supper painting by the Veronese artist Brusasorci, which you can admire together with different altars and precious 18th century works of marble.
Continue slightly uphill toward the grand villas overlooking Sirmione. It was very common for wealthy families to construct their homes around the lakes, lured by the tranquility of the water and views of the mountains. Stop to admire the prestigious Villa Cortine and its 12 acres (5 hectares) of green space. From this point, you can enjoy the colors of the sea shifting from blue to emerald green and the Lido of Blondes (Blonde Beach).
Before heading back, you’ll stop at the Grotte di Catullo. The cavern was once a large Roman mansion built for the poet Catullus. It’s the most important archeological area in the Lombardy region, with ruins and remains of an ancient and luxurious Roman villa on Lake Garda.
Read more about unique and interesting experiences in the Northern Lakes District.
Itineraries with Boat & Walking Tour of Sirmione on Lake Garda
Load the family into the car and hit the road for this trip through lovely Northern Italy, ideal for school-age children and families who want to manage their own budget and schedule. You'll start in fashionable Milan for a culture and history lesson before cruising around the glittering shores and garden villas of Lake Como. Then head to the park-filled shores of Lake Garda, Italy's most family-friendly lake, before heading back to Milan for your departure.
Take a five-day frolic through Italy and Switzerland with this itinerary. You'll split your time between lakes and mountains, often enjoying views of both simultaneously, as you take in waterfront historic sites, luxurious villas, and more.
Experience the best of Italy's Lake Garda and the surrounding region with this 8-day trip. Spend time in the lively and historic towns of Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda. There are two majestic Scaligero Castles protecting the lake, one in Sirmione and the second further north in Malcesine. Visit both and admire the romantic views of Lake Garda. Ride a cable car up to Monte Baldo and explore the wild botanical garden at the top. From Desenzano del Garda, go on a cycling and wine tasting tour, and take a guided day trip to Verona.
Beginning in Venice, this 9-day trip will take you through the highlights of the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Visit the main sights of the 'Floating City' on a guided tour of St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace, and take time to discover the islands of Murano, Torcello, and Burano. The city of Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with beautiful, historic attractions. See Casa di Giulietta, the house which inspired Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, and learn how to cook homemade pasta. Experience tranquility on Lake Garda as you hop by boat between the villages of Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda, and Malcesine.